You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain

Phoebe Robinson. Plume, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-14-312920-2
Robinson, a stand-up comedian and host of the WNYC podcast 2 Dope Queens, brings a funny and original voice to her debut book of essays, combining personal experience with social commentary on race, gender, and pop culture. Moving, poignant, witty, and funny, Robinson takes on America’s “tumultuous” relationship with African-American hair, providing a history of black hair on the stage and screen as well as her own relationship with her hair (she didn’t go natural until after she finished high school). In other essays, she rants about the way the NFL treats women, discusses the demands she’d make on the first female U.S. president, and explains how to avoid being the token black friend. Robinson reveals how she uses her humor to survive the indignities that go along with being black in America, such as being followed around while shopping in stores or being called “uppity” for expressing her wishes to a white director. This is a promising debut by a talented, genuinely funny writer. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2016
Release date: 10/04/2016
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